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Cambodia Opens the 13th ASEM Summit

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia finally kicks off the long-awaited13th Asia-Europe Meeting on Thursday. Prime Minister Hun Sen shared his opening remarks from Phnom Penh via video conference, welcoming all ASEM leaders and members in virtual attendance.

The Prime Minister began by highlighting the summit’s chosen theme of “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth,” which he said is more relevant than ever in the context of striving for socio-economic recovery while living with COVID-19.

He emphasized the need to further reinforce partnership between Asia and Europe, “to maintain a strong multilateralism that will bring about a global growth that is not only “Sustainable” but can also be “Shared”.”

He continued by outlining the main objectives of ASEM-13, which are based on the stated principles of shared growth, sustainable development, and rules-based multilateralism. The six outlined goals are as follows:

1. Deepening inter-regional connectivity for sustainable and inclusive development and shared growth;

2. Promoting inter-regional partnership for global governance;

3. Enhancing the effectiveness of a rules-based multilateral system;

4. Harnessing innovation, digital connectivity, and the Industrial Revolution 4.0;

5. Strengthening ASEM’s visibility and relevance; and

6. Addressing multi-sectoral issues such as climate change, poverty, women empowerment, as well as other trans-national challenges

Prime Minister Hun Sen said that Cambodia has always paid great attention to the process of this Summit since first joining ASEM in 2004. He described how Cambodia has adopted the ASEM Ministerial Statement on COVID-19 since September 2020, and also published a research book in collaboration with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) to support ASEM-13 and share the vision of the ASEM process.

The Prime Minister concluded his remarks by wishing the Summit to have a smooth process and great success, officially declaring the opening of ASEM-13.

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